Why We’ll Never See Shows Like ‘The Office’ or ‘Friends’ Again

There was once a time when tuning into sitcoms every week was the best part of the week. Friends debuted in 1994 and was on the air for a decade before signing off on May 6, 2004. The Office debuted right after Friends went off the air and continued into 2013. You could say the work-based sitcom carried the torch of a long lost art!

While there are still shows out there that fans can tune into weekly, there has been a shift that basically ensures fans won’t be tuning into shows like these two ever again.

Will ‘Friends’ leave Netflix?

FRIENDS
FRIENDS | NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Friends has been off the air for 15 years, so when the series popped up on Netflix fans were ecstatic. Who wouldn’t want to see Joey, Chandler, and the rest of the gang again? Sure, DVDs exists but with Netflix, fans can easily tune into one of the most iconic sitcom cast lineups to date whenever they want and with minimal effort. Well if you’re a Netflix account holder, you may want to start binging the series.

News on the grapevine is that Netflix maybe losing the classic show to WarnerMedia. The company gave Netflix the go-ahead to stream the series but only after they dropped $100 million. They added all 236 episodes to their library at the start of 2015. They’ve paid an insane $30 million every year since to keep the fan favorite running. 

So after paying out why would Netflix suddenly lose Friends? Looks like WarnerMedia may be starting its own streaming service in direct competition with Netflix and other media giants. The contract that allowed Netflix to run the show expired this past January, but fans can expect to at least be able to join Rachel, Monica, Chandler, and the rest of the crew for the remainder of the year.

Will ‘The Office’ leave Netflix?

Friends isn’t the only show that the streaming giant might be losing. The Office might also be going to a different streaming platform when the time is right. Apparently, NBCUniversal is also launching a streaming service. As such, there has been a lot of discussion about pulling the fan-favorite comedy from Netflix in 2021.

To even stream the show, Netflix has dished out near $100 million over the last few years. If NBCUniversal decides to pull the plug, they will be losing out on the licensing revenue. There’s a good chance the money they make from Netflix is much more valuable than what their service will be if they feature the show, at least until it gets off the ground. While Netflix provides series from all over the place, NBCUniversal would be much more niche. It’s hard to imagine their numbers holding a candle to Netflix’s income stream.

Why are ‘Friends’ and ‘The Office’ the last of their kind?

While Netflix subscribers are losing their minds over the potential loss of their favorite shows, there’s a much bigger problem on the horizon. Friends and The Office really did a great job of building a cult following. Ones that are still alive and bustling to this day. Despite being shelved, both shows still bring in new fans, which of course become fanatics.

And while Netflix provided a way to watch the beloved shows, it’s actually Netflix, and other streaming platforms, that are killing the way media flourishes. Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other providers allow people to binge shows in one go. They provide instant gratification. While that seems great, it’s the nature of having to tune in on a weekly basis that makes the classic sitcoms so amazing. Having to wait a full seven days gave fans time to really analyze the episodes. It was this waiting period, extended conversation, and anticipation that stretched out the cultural impacts they had and continue to have to this day.

While full series availability becoming the way of the future is great for those who can’t stand waiting, it comes with a price — the loss of longevity.